NPR Staff

Pages

All Tech Considered
3:07 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

Q&A: Sen. Ed Markey On Protecting Data Our Cars Are Sharing

U.S. Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., says our cars are becoming increasingly vulnerable to hacking.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 9, 2015 4:27 pm

Cars and trucks today are computers, and a new report overseen by Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., comes with a warning: As more vehicles have wireless connections, the data stored in them is vulnerable to stealing, hacking and the same invasions faced by any technical system today.

How safe are we in our connected cars?

Read more
Around the Nation
5:19 pm
Sun February 8, 2015

To End Solitary Confinement, Rikers Steps Out Of The Box

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio tours and meets with youth Dec. 17 at Second Chance Housing on Rikers Island in New York City. Second Chance Housing is an alternative for incarcerated adolescents, instead of punitive segregation, also known as solitary confinement.
Susan Watts Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 9, 2015 11:09 am

New York's Rikers Island is the second-largest jail in the U.S., and one of the most notorious.

But with a single move, Rikers has taken the lead on prison reform on one issue: Last month, the prison banned the use of solitary confinement for inmates under 21 years old.

Amy Fettig, senior staff counsel for the ACLU's National Prison Project, says the use of isolation is too widespread and that it's being used for the wrong reasons. Often young people are even isolated for their own protection.

Read more
Code Switch
4:40 pm
Sun February 8, 2015

Korean Dictator, All-American Dad: One Actor's 'Very Unique Year'

Randall Park and Constance Wu co-star as husband and wife Louis and Jessica Huang in Fresh Off the Boat.
Gilles Mingasson ABC

Originally published on Mon February 9, 2015 7:53 am

When Randall Park realized just how big a deal Fresh Off The Boat was going to be, he got cold feet. The stakes were high for the first network sitcom in 20 years to feature an Asian-American family.

But he'd already filmed the pilot, in which he starred as family patriarch Louis Huang, a Taiwanese immigrant and firm believer in the American Dream. (The sitcom, which centers on Louis' son Eddie, begins as Louis uproots his young family from Washington, D.C., to suburban Orlando to open a steakhouse.)

Read more
Code Switch
3:56 pm
Sun February 8, 2015

100 Years Later, What's The Legacy Of 'Birth Of A Nation'?

Actors dressed in full Ku Klux Klan regalia for scenes in 1915's The Birth of a Nation.
Hulton Archive/ Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 5:56 pm

One hundred years ago Sunday, the nascent film industry premiered what would go on to be its first blockbuster: The Birth of a Nation.

As the house lights dimmed and the orchestra struck up the score, a message from director D.W. Griffith flickered on the screen: "This is an historical presentation of the Civil War and Reconstruction Period, and is not meant to reflect on any race or people of today."

But its effects on race relations were devastating, and reverberations are still felt to this day.

Epic Film, Embedded Bigotry

Read more
Music Interviews
3:35 pm
Sun February 8, 2015

Bird Of A Feather: Rudresh Mahanthappa On Learning From Charlie Parker

Rudresh Mahanthappa's latest album is Bird Calls.
Jimmy Katz Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon February 9, 2015 7:53 am

In the early 1980s, when a young sixth-grader in Colorado first heard Charlie Parker, his life was transformed. Now a world-class saxophonist, Rudresh Mahanthappa is paying homage to Parker with his new album, Bird Calls. Mahanthappa says it's a tribute to Charlie Parker — but there are no Charlie Parker songs here.

Read more
Monkey See
3:21 pm
Sun February 8, 2015

Live-Blogging The Grammy Awards

Beyonce performs onstage during the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards. The singer is up for six Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year.
Mark Davis Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 8, 2015 7:42 pm

UPDATE: Perhaps it's a sign that we have to give up our nostalgic attachment to live-blogging, but technical difficulties and a totally broken live-blog have sent Stephen and me back to Twitter, where we — at @nprmonkeysee and @idislikestephen — will be tweeting at the hashtag #NPRGrammys. Thanks for your patience.

Read more
Author Interviews
2:55 pm
Sun February 8, 2015

Obama's 'Body Man' Looks Back On His Presidential Education

Barack Obama hands a gift from a supporter to his assistant Reggie Love during his 2008 campaign for presidency.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 11:54 am

Reggie Love was Barack Obama's body man during his first campaign for president and into his time in office. It was a demanding job: part personal assistant, part aide, part whatever the boss needs you to do, whenever he needs it.

Love, the author of the new memoir Power Forward: My Presidential Education, tells NPR's Arun Rath that he remembers the first time he met then-Senator Obama. He had traveled to Washington for a job interview.

Read more
Law
8:12 am
Sun February 8, 2015

Next Witness: Will The Yellow Smiley Face Take The Stand?

Are these jokers ready to appear in court?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed February 11, 2015 12:21 pm

Emojis can be a lot of fun. Little pictures on our phones seem to express sentiments when words just fall short. Sometimes we need to punctuate our sentences with a sad cat, floating hearts, maybe an alien head.

They aren't complicated when they appear in our personal email or texts, but emojis are now popping up in a place where their meanings are closely scrutinized: courtrooms.

Read more
Movie Interviews
3:48 am
Sun February 8, 2015

What Do We Do 'In The Shadows'? Dishes, Mostly

Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi (top) play bloodsucking housemates struggling with mundane things like rent and chores.
Unison Films

Originally published on Mon February 9, 2015 4:31 am

Read more
My Big Break
4:56 pm
Sat February 7, 2015

From Touchdowns To Takeoff: Engineer-Athlete Soared To Space

Leland Melvin with his dogs, Jake and Scout. "I snuck them into NASA to get this picture," Melvin says.
Courtesy of Leland Melvin

Originally published on Sat February 7, 2015 7:29 pm

As part of a series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

You may recognize retired astronaut Leland Melvin from his famous 2009 NASA portrait with his two dogs, Jake and Scout. Or maybe you've seen him on the Lifetime channel hosting Child Genius.

Read more
Fine Art
4:23 pm
Sat February 7, 2015

'War Rugs' Reflect Afghanistan's Long History With Conflict

Afghan war rugs reflect the nation's long history of conflict through one of its most ancient art forms.
Courtesy of Kevin Sudeith

Originally published on Sat February 7, 2015 7:29 pm

Afghanistan has suffered through long decades of war; conflict with the Soviet Union, civil war and 13 years of a U.S.-led NATO combat mission. Among the political, economic and cultural impacts of this violence, there's an artistic transformation: the history of violence is reflected in the country's ancient art of rug making.

Kevin Sudeith, a collector, tells NPR's Arun Rath that he has long been impressed by the craftsmanship of Afghan rugs.

Read more
Author Interviews
3:15 pm
Sat February 7, 2015

We Went From Hunter-Gatherers To Space Explorers, But Are We Happier?

Until about 30,000 years ago — around the same time these animals were drawn on the walls of France's Chauvet Cave — there were at least five other species of humans on the planet.
Jeff Pachoud AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 7, 2015 7:29 pm

In his book, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, scientist Yuval Noah Harari attempts a seemingly impossible task — packing the entirety of human history into 400 pages.

Harari, an Israeli historian, is interested in tackling big-picture questions and puncturing some of our dearly held beliefs about human progress.

Read more
Author Interviews
5:56 am
Sat February 7, 2015

An Expansive View Of Vietnam In 'She Weeps Each Time You're Born'

Originally published on Sat February 7, 2015 9:44 am

A woman named Rabbit is a kind of miracle: She was pulled out of her dead mother's grave beside the Ma River in Vietnam, on the night of a full moon — when folklore says that a rabbit walks the moon. Rabbit is the center of poet and author Quan Barry's new novel, She Weeps Each Time You're Born.

The Vietnam War is raging; American troops have just begun to pull out, and Rabbit grows up in a landscape of leveled homes, shattered lives, and barren, poisoned fields, her life slipping between present tense and parable.

Read more
Author Interviews
3:47 am
Sat February 7, 2015

'Alphabetical' Tells The Story Behind Every Letter, A To Z

Counterpoint Press

Originally published on Sat February 7, 2015 9:43 am

There are 26 letters in the English alphabet. But how did they get there, and why do they look the way they do? Michael Rosen tackles these questions and more in his new book Alphabetical.

Nobody knows exactly why people started writing down sounds, Rosen tells NPR's Scott Simon. "All they can say is that certain peoples, around about 4,000 years ago, started to do it. They may have done it separately, or they may have communicated with each other, one way or another."

Read more
Theater
3:45 am
Sat February 7, 2015

For John Cameron Mitchell, Midlife Crisis Means Returning To 'Hedwig'

John Cameron Mitchell will play Hedwig on Broadway until April 26.
Joan Marcus Courtesy of Boneau/Bryan-Brown

Originally published on Sat February 7, 2015 9:48 am

Hedwig and the Angry Inch got rave reviews when it premiered off Broadway in the late 1990s. Since then, Hedwig, a gender-bending East German rock musician, has been portrayed by the likes of Neil Patrick Harris and Michael C. Hall. But for the first time since the play's debut and 2001 film adaptation, Hedwig is once again being played by the man who created every punk and glam-rock inch of her — John Cameron Mitchell. Mitchell tells NPR's Scott Simon where he got the idea for Hedwig:

Read more
Theater
3:49 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

Much To His Chagrin, On Broadway Larry David Has To 'Wait And Talk'

Larry David hasn't been in a play since the eighth grade, but he's written and stars in a new comedy called Fish in the Dark, directed by Anna D. Shapiro. "I didn't think it was going to get any laughs at all," he says. "The first time we did it, like every laugh was a surprise to me because I was expecting nothing."
Joan Marcus Courtesy of Philip Renaldi Publicity

Originally published on Sat February 7, 2015 12:24 pm

These days, when Larry David leaves work at the stage door of the Cort Theater, fans are lined up for his autograph. At age 67, David is now a Broadway star — and that's new, scary territory for him.

David was co-creator of the TV sitcom Seinfeld and starred as himself — a cantankerous guy who says exactly what's on his mind — in the raucously funny HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm. He hasn't been in a play since he was in eighth grade, but now he's written one called Fish in the Dark, and it's his name in lights.

Read more
Author Interviews
1:54 am
Fri February 6, 2015

On Board A City Bus, A Little Boy Finds The Route To Gratitude

"Nana, how come we don't have a car?" CJ asks. "Boy, what do we need a car for?" Nana replies. "We got a bus that breathes fire."
Christian Robinson Courtesy of Penguin Random House Publishing

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 8:15 am

Last Stop on Market Street is a new picture book that takes children on a journey, not to an imaginary land far, far away but to a much more real place by way of a city bus. CJ is riding with his grandmother, Nana, and along the way, he encounters a variety of passengers — a man covered in tattoos, an elderly woman with a jar of butterflies, a blind man and his guide dog, teens listening to music.

Read more
Parallels
4:23 pm
Thu February 5, 2015

In 'Red Notice,' Success Draws Treachery, Tragedy In Putin's Russia

Bill Browder crosses Red Square in 2004, at the height of Hermitage Capital Management's success.
James Hill Courtesy of the Browder Family Archives

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 9:48 am

William Browder's new book, Red Notice, is named for the type of warrant the Russian government has sought from Interpol in hopes of capturing him.

The hedge fund manager made huge profits with Hermitage Capital Management, a company he started in Russia in 1996. That, he says, drew the attention and machinations of a corrupt group of Russian officials.

Read more
Around the Nation
2:03 am
Thu February 5, 2015

Stuck In Traffic? It's Likely To Be Worse In 30 Years, Report Says

Traffic clogs the 101 Freeway in Los Angeles.
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 5, 2015 11:27 am

Moving from crisis to crisis — for too long that's been America's strategy for dealing with the challenges of an aging transit infrastructure, from roads to bridges to ports. The result is a system that's crumbling and in desperate need of attention, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The massive study both looks at the current state of the country's transportation systems and forecasts the challenges that lie ahead.

Read more
Author Interviews
2:43 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

Drift Away Into The Not-Quite-Dreamy Logic Of 'Get In Trouble'

Get In Trouble is Kelly Link's new collection of short stories.
Emily Jan NPR

Originally published on Tue February 3, 2015 4:28 pm

Author Kelly Link says her short stories are inspired by what she calls "night time logic." In fiction that strives for realism, she says, everything has a place. Everything makes sense. It's kind of like dream logic, she tells NPR's Audie Cornish, "except that when you wake up from a dream, you think, well, that didn't make sense. Night time logic in stories, you think, I don't understand why that made sense, but I feel there was a kind of emotional truth to it."

Read more
My Big Break
4:19 pm
Sun February 1, 2015

From The Ivy League To 'The X-Files': David Duchovny's Big Break

David Duchovny says The X-Files was his biggest break — not because it was successful but because that's where he went from youthful ambition to an adult understanding of what it means to work.
Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 2, 2015 9:30 am

As part of a series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

Here's something you probably know about David Duchovny: He played one of the 1990s' most iconic roles, FBI agent Fox Mulder in The X-Files.

Read more
On Aging
3:24 pm
Sun February 1, 2015

As America Grays, A Call For Dignity In Aging And Elder Care

Originally published on Mon February 2, 2015 9:42 am

The baby boomers are getting older: This year, 4 million people in America will turn 65.

In her new book, The Age of Dignity: Preparing for the Elder Boom in a Changing America, author Ai-jen Poo says that means the country is on the cusp of a major shift.

"The baby boom generation is reaching retirement age at a rate of 10,000 people per day," she tells NPR's Arun Rath. "What that means is that by 2050, 27 million Americans will need some form of long-term care or assistance, and that's the basis for this book."

Read more
Around the Nation
3:24 pm
Sun February 1, 2015

To Save 2 Cows, All It Took Was A Good Icebreaker

A cow walks away from an icy pond after firefighters rescued it and one other cow that had fallen through the ice.
Darin Anstine AP

Originally published on Mon February 2, 2015 6:26 am

The Fountain, Colo., Fire Department handles a lot of animal rescue calls. But in 11 years with the department, Fire Captain Rick Daniels says the call he got on Jan. 26 was "one of the more challenging animal rescue calls that I've had."

No one's exactly sure how or why, Daniels tells NPR, but two brown cows had wandered out over a frozen pond, and fallen through the half-foot of ice.

Someone driving by the pond called 911 and described seeing just the heads of two cows peeking out over the sheet of ice. The cows were up to their necks in frigid water.

Read more
The Sunday Conversation
11:23 am
Sun February 1, 2015

'Mormon Stories' Podcast Founder Contemplates Excommunication

John Dehlin tells NPR's Rachel Martin he thinks "excommunication is definitely the path that the stake president's going to take."
Catherine Weber Scott Courtesy of John Dehlin

Originally published on Sun February 1, 2015 2:43 pm

John Dehlin started a popular podcast and website called Mormon Stories as a space for people to question Mormon teachings. Next Sunday, he'll face a disciplinary hearing where he expects to be officially excommunicated from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Dehlin is charged with apostasy for publicly supporting same-sex marriage, the ordination of women, and for questioning church doctrine.

Read more
Environment
9:22 am
Sun February 1, 2015

The Ice Is Talking. We Just Have To Listen

Giant chunks of ice break away from the Hans Glacier in Svalbard, Norway, in 2013.
Courtesy Oskar Glowacki

Originally published on Thu February 12, 2015 6:14 am

If a glacier cracks and nobody hears it, does it still make a sound?

"Oh, they moan and they groan," says Grant Deane, a researcher at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. "They crackle and rumble and fizz, and they have all kinds of amazing sounds that they make."

Deane is one of the authors of a new study that interprets the acoustics of glacial melting.

Read more
Shots - Health News
5:38 am
Sun February 1, 2015

Family Struggles With Father's Wish To Die

Robert Schwimmer, 66, and his son Scott Schwimmer, 21, spoke with NPR about Robert's wish to hasten his death under certain circumstances. Here — as in the family photo above — they're in Kauai, Hawaii, on the family's "last big trip" after Robert received a 6-month prognosis in October.
Courtesy Scott Schwimmer

Originally published on Mon February 2, 2015 11:36 am

When 66-year-old Robert Schwimmer was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2013, he didn't take it all that seriously. His doctors told him it was "operable," and that was the only word he seemed to hear.

Now he's in hospice care and, as he tells NPR's Rachel Martin, he accepts that he's no longer trying to prolong life, but rather living out what's left of it.

Read more
Author Interviews
5:37 am
Sun February 1, 2015

Are Danes Really That Happy? The Myth Of The Scandinavian Utopia

A view of Oslo, Norway, taken from the surrounding hills. Author Michael Booth says Norwegians were traditionally thought of as Scandinavia's "country bumpkin."
Lise Aaserud AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 2, 2015 9:03 am

What comes to mind when you think of Scandinavia? Great education systems? The world's happiest people? Healthy work-life balance?

One man, a British transplant living in Denmark, sought to set the record straight about his adoptive homeland.

Michael Booth is the author of The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia. He tells NPR's Rachel Martin about how culturally different Scandinavian countries really are.

Read more
Education
3:52 am
Sun February 1, 2015

A Crossroads At The End Of College: Introducing 'The Howard Project'

Howard University students (left to right) Kevin Peterman, Taylor Davis, Leighton Watson and Ariel Alford are the subjects of NPR's Project Howard. They'll be keeping audio diaries as they finish their final semester of college and look toward their futures.
Robb Hill for NPR

Originally published on Sat February 21, 2015 5:35 pm

If you know any college seniors, now might be a good time to send them some encouraging words. The class of 2015 can't be blamed if they're feeling a little worried: They're facing one of the most important transitions of their lives.

In a matter of months, they're about to launch from the relatively protected confines of college into the so-called "real world," where they have to find a sense of purpose — not to mention a paycheck. It's not hyperbole to say the decisions they make now will shape the rest of their lives.

Read more
Author Interviews
3:36 am
Sun February 1, 2015

Be More Awesome — With Help From Kid President

Originally published on Sun February 1, 2015 9:39 am

Kid President has a vision for America, one of ferocious positivity. And corn dogs. Robby Novak — now 11 years old — and his older brother-in-law Brad Montague created the character in 2012.

In a series of YouTube videos, Robby appears in a suit and speaks to America from a cardboard Oval Office. He extolls the virtues of corn dogs, interprets Robert Frost, and delivers pep talks to America. The videos quickly became an Internet sensation, garnering tens of millions of views.

Read more
Author Interviews
3:05 pm
Sat January 31, 2015

Impressions From The Ice: A Poet Returns From Antarctica

Originally published on Sat January 31, 2015 4:30 pm

Last year, a poet arrived at the end of the earth: Jynne Dilling Martin spent six weeks, funded by the National Science Foundation, living in Antarctica.

She spent the summer (winter, to those of us in the Northern Hemisphere) shadowing scientists as they went about their work, and writing about the people who call the icy continent home.

Read more

Pages